tv NBC Nightly News NBC June 10, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
rain. >> yes! >> blending in. thank you for joining us here at 5:00. lester holt is next. >> hope to see you at 6:00. tonight, house to house. as authorities expand the hunt for two escaped killers, growing fear as two states are now on high alert. late word the fugitives may have headed in a different direction than first thought. back to iraq. hundreds more american troops headed back. this time the enemy is isis. what is the mission, and can it work? richard engle reports. the offices side of the story. what we're learning tonight about what happened before all that chaos at the pool caught on camera. and going to extremes. our journey deep underground as a major water source for millions rapidly disappears. wait till you see what they're doing to keep the water flowing. "nightly news" begins right now. >> announcer: from nbc news world headquarters in new
york, this is nbc "nightly news." reporting tonight, lester holt. good evening. day five, and a lot has happened in the hunt for those two killers who escaped from a new york state prison. police are reaching out to family and those close to the prisoners. the search itself is literally changing direction. some of the focus now turning to vermont. and interest continues to ramp prison employee. sources tell nbc news she is still answering questions from investigators. nbc national correspondent miguel almaguer leads our coverage tonight. miguel, what's the latest? >> reporter: lester, good evening. tonight investigators are following some 500 leads including some new information, as you mentioned, that authorities are concerned those inmates may be headed toward vermont. so tonight officials are stepping up patrols, worried that these dangerous men are getting even more desperate. in a show of force and firepower, tonight the search for david sweat and richard matt going door to door. this is joyce mitchell, a civilian employee who worked at
the prison tailor shop supervising the escapees is still being questioned tonight. nbc news has learned employees at the prison say there are no metal detectors here. even duffel bags are allowed in it and out unchecked. inmates who work with prison staff are at times left unattended. >> my law enforcement source had confirmed to me that they for a month had access to the inner workings of the prison. >> reporter: sweat and matt not only used power tools to escape but navigated a maze of catwalks and pipes. >> there's no way they could find their way to exit the facility in one night with the maze of tunnels that lead in every different direction underneath the prison. >> reporter: today 50 billboards in four states are now up. the intense search growing. neighborhoods not far from the prison swept by s.w.a.t. teams. an hour south in willsboro, more tactical squads. the search here is methodical. officers even drawing their guns as they
search campers, cars, and homes, all across this area. >> they want to make sure people are safe, not being held hostage, any barricade situations or whatnot. >> reporter: winn belanger lives here and is armed. >> i'm prepared to use it should somebody enter my home. >> reporter: 300 miles away, today police questioned david sweat's mother. his sister told us sweat stopped writing home two months ago. those who know richard matt say tonight they're living in fear. we spoke by phone to matt's former accomplice, a convicted murderer who testified against matt in court. he wants his identity concealed because he fears retaliation. >> there's no telling what kind of revenge he may want to exact on people. this is a very psychotic individual. and it's somebody that definitely has no regard for human life. >> reporter: in nearby willsboro this evening officers are still flooding streets while patrols here on lake champlain are getting set to beef up. the same is true across the waterway in
vermont. meantime, joyce mitchell's family tells nbc news tonight they had no idea she was still being questioned. lester? >> miguel almaguer tonight, thank you. more than three years since the u.s. combat role ended in iraq the white house said today hundreds more american troops are heading back. joining several thousand already there to help train and advise the iraqi army in the fight against isis. and a lot of americans are asking can this mission work? our chief foreign correspondent richard engel, who spent over five years in iraq, has our report. >> reporter: the isis advance hasn't been slowed by the u.s.-led war against it. isis captured mosul in iraq one year ago today. and released pictures they say shows a gay man being thrown off a building in the city. so much for progress. isis still has a firm grip on vast areas of iraq and syria. last month they
captured ramadi just 60 miles from baghdad, prompting the obama administration to reveal plans to send in more american troops. an extra 450 will soon head to iraq as trainers raising the total to 3500. the new forces will go right into eastern anbar province between ramadi and fallujah, both in isis hands. not to engage in direct combat administration, official tell us, but to support and equip local forces. in particular, sunni tribes who want to stand up and fight isis. will it work? >> probably not. i think it's a largely irrelevant gesture to indicate that we're doing something about the deterioration of the situation. >> reporter: a current senior u.s. military official tells nbc news he agrees the new troops probably won't change much on the battlefield, which is already a hodgepodge of rival groups. kurds in the north backed by the u.s. the iraqi army and shiite militias backed by iran. and after today sunni
tribes in the west. also backed by washington. u.s. troops in iraq will try to bridge these deep differences to try to fight islamic radicals. and we all know how that turned out before. the u.s. military fought for about a decade with hundreds of thousands of ground troops, a limitless budget, 24-hour air cover, to battle an insurgency that is far less dug in than isis is now. so it's hard to see how a few hundred non-combat troops are going to make much of a difference. but today the white house was stressing this is an important step to build "the capacity of the iraqi" -- >> but essentially training some of the same people that were trained before by the u.s. >> some of the people who switched sides or some of the people who took off their uniforms and ran. >> richard engel, good to see you. thank you. now to the new fallout over the video that has provoked so much outrage. a mckinney, texas police officer has already resigned after the nation saw him on tape forcibly breaking up a pool party that some said got out of control. now we're hearing his side of the story. nbc's janet shamlian
has that for us. >> reporter: for these actions caught on camera and now viewed more than 10 million times online. >> i told you to stay! >> reporter: former mckinney police officer eric casebolt apologized today through his attorney. >> with all that had happened that day he allowed his emotions to get the better of him. >> reporter: casebolt had responded to two separate suicide calls before he made the pool party call and it was taking a toll. >> he was not targeting minorities. >> reporter: the police union says the officer is getting death threats. casebolt resigned last night. mckinney's police chief saying the officer was wrong. >> actions of casebolt as seen on the video of the disturbance at the community pool are indefensible. >> reporter: tonight we're also hearing from the teenage girl pushed down by the officer through her lawyer. >> she's gone from being an anonymous teenager in mckinney to someone that literally even my family back home in england have heard about. >> reporter: at the community pool where it happened it's busy.
the pool is out here, and it's in the 90s. the heat not entirely about the weather. >> i don't know. it's just kind of shocking. but at the same time, too, it is kind of a relief just to know that he has resigned. >> reporter: some feel the officer's resignation is not enough to compensate for the wounds they say run deep and won't be easily healed. >> we have strong demands still going on. we want officer eric casebolt charged. >> reporter: despite the frustration all sides are calling for calm here in mckinney tonight as the police investigation continues. lester? >> janet shamlian tonight. thanks. right now we are watching a flood emergency happen in the south. this time in louisiana. after weeks of torrential rainfall a major river is now threatening neighborhoods. homeowners stacking sandbags to protect their homes. nbc's gabe gutierrez has the images coming in. >> reporter: in northwest louisiana hundreds of homes are underwater as weeks of heavy rain in neighboring oklahoma and texas have swollen
the red river. >> the river has crested, and we've seen a slight drop in it, but we can't predict it. all we can do is prepare ourselves for it. >> reporter: the water had been inching up for days. the national guard had rushed in sandbags. weather channel's dave malkoff says river levels may stay high for the next several weeks. >> i can feel the pressure building on my legs, and i'm pushing through here. this is a lot of water, you guys. >> reporter: tonight the waters are receding and residents in shreveport are assessing the damage. >> the mood of everybody is exhausted. to be honest with you. i mean, we're all tired. we're all fighting this battle. >> reporter: the worst flooding this area has seen in decades. gabe gutierrez, nbc news. there is new information in the frustrating search for answers about what caused that horrific train derailment in philadelphia that killed eight people. federal investigators revealing what they now know on the question of whether the engineer was using his phone as that train hurtled toward a
curve at more than twice the speed limit. nbc news national correspondent peter alexander has more. >> reporter: the ntsb today announced there's no evidence the engineer running amtrak train 188 was using his cell phone that night. >> there was no talking or texting or data usage involved. >> reporter: investigators say brand boston wasn't on the internet while operating the train. boston gave investigators the pass code to his phone and told them he doesn't remember anything after the train left philadelphia bound for new york. an ntsb board member today told lawmakers they haven't concluded whether boston's phone was turned off or perhaps in airplane mode. >> things like use of an app or other use of the phone has not been determined. >> reporter: in airplane mode a user can be watching a movie, playing a game or reading an e-book. so what may have happened? >> potential drug interaction, medical event of some kind, momentary distractions in the cab and fatigue. >> reporter: the northeast regional
train was going 106 miles an hour when it derailed on a 50-mile-an-hour curve. >> and he i think the guy just lost his situational awareness, thinking he was out of the turn before he was into the turn. >> reporter: today they again pushed for rail lines to install positive train control, or ptc, a technology that can automatically slow or stop a train to prevent accidents. amtrak has installed ptc in much of the northeast corridor. but federal regulators say 71% of commuter railroads nationwide will not have the system in place by the end of this year, as required by law. today federal regulators also said it would cost commuter railroads $3.5 billion to put the ptc system in place. so far those railroads have spent less than a third of that amount pf lester? >> peter, thanks. let's turn now to the presidential campaign trail, which reached all the way to europe today. unofficially speaking of course, because jeb bush isn't officially a candidate yet. but his travels are being overshadowed by the drama in his unofficial campaign
just days before he's expected to go all in. our senior white house correspondent chris jansing reports tonight from berlin. >> reporter: being in europe has put jeb bush miles from home. but that's not far enough to escape questions about a shake-up on his campaign staff. yesterday he didn't want to talk about it. >> governor, can you say why you replaced your campaign manager? >> i will tomorrow when we have our press -- >> reporter: today he's trying to downplay the abrupt change at the top. >> why have you replaced your campaign manager? >> well, first of all, we don't have a campaign. so there was no switching. >> reporter: that would be news to two top campaign aides who got new duties and new titles. to the organizations raising tens of millions of dollars to get bush elected. even to germans who came to hear him speak. >> we wish you all the luck in all the rest going forward, whatever you want to announce next monday. we wish you all the best. >> thank you. >> reporter: monday bush officially announces for president, although he's already filed the papers. so why come to germany just days before a
campaign launch? it's a presidential rite of passage to show candidates can hold their own on the international stage, look presidential. bush did get a photo op with german chancellor angela merkel, and he is still the favorite among the republican establishment. but he's lost the aura of front-runner. >> you only change a team when it's not performing well and you're not winning. why else would you change a team? >> reporter: still, bush insists staff changes are strategic, not a reaction to disappointing polls. >> so were the polls in those early stages -- >> no. >> no? >> i don't even -- look, it's fun to see them when you're winning, not so fun when you're not. it doesn't really matter, though. it's june for crying out loud. so we've got a long way to go. >> reporter: but just five days until he makes it official. chris jansing, nbc news, berlin, germany. for just the second time ever, pope francis came face to face today with vladimir putin after the russian president arrived more than an hour late for their meeting at the vatican.
the two discussed a number of vital issues including the war in ukraine. the pope urged putin to make a sincere effort to end the war, though russia denies having a hand in that conflict. a lot more still ahead here tonight, as a major water source for millions vanishes in this drought emergency. our journey deep, deep underground to see a spectacular feat of innovation to keep the water running.
fighting the record drought in the west. tonight one of the century's most ambitious projects at the largest reservoir in the nation, which looked like this in 2000. take a look at what it looks like now. it was so low it could become useless to communities that rely on it. instead of looking to the sky, engineers are looking miles beneath the surface to get water by essentially pulling the plug on the nation's biggest bathtub. nbc's harry smith tonight with a very unique view deep underground. >> reporter: if you want to know just how bad the drought is in the southwest, take a good look at lake mead. the water level on lake mead has dropped 130 feet since the late 1990s. what does that mean? that means the surface used to be up there, at the top of what they call the bathtub ring. and if you're the city of las vegas, that poses a very big problem. 90% of the city's water comes from here. as the water drops, it will leave intake pipes literally sucking air.
what to do? start digging. we're in an elevator that goes 600 feet underground. it takes us to the end of a tunnel that's three miles long that goes all the way underneath lake mead. down below we hop on what's called a loki, a kind of subway that hauls workers and tools. it's more than a little eerie down here, knowing one of the world's largest reservoirs is somewhere above us. our guide is the tunnel's engineering project manager, erica muna. >> as the lake continued to decline it really became a concern that we were going to lose capacity altogether, being able to pump the water from the lake. >> reporter: seven years and $800 million later, the digging is done. a modern marvel. >> right now we're at the end of our three-mile tunnel. >> so if we look up, what's up there? >> lake mead. >> that's holding back the lake? >> exactly.
>> wow. >> reporter: come october, they plan to open that hole in the bottom of the sea, ensuring southern nevada's water needs for years to come. waiting for the drought to end was a gamble las vegas wasn't going to take. harry smith, nbc news, lake mead. >> fascinating stuff. tomorrow our series continues with a controversial way to turn ocean water into tap water. we're back in a moment with an all-out brawl. you won't believe what started it.
a wild scene caught on camera when a melee erupted at a high school graduation. not among the students but among the parents. pummeling each other over saving seats. it happened over the weekend near las vegas. police had to rush in to break up the brawl so the ceremony could continue. major league baseball has its first no-hitter of the season, and it took a rookie to get it done. chris heston of the san francisco giants struck out 11 and never allowed a walk against the new york mets. heston didn't even make the team out of spring training but was called up when
another giants pitcher got hurt. and we want you to take a look at what is so far the most adorable thing you'll see all day. these photos from australia. a baby koala named phantom cuddling up to its mom while mom was undergoing surgery to fix a punctured lung. the baby didn't want to let go, so to keep the six-month-old koala from becoming distressed, doctors allowed him to hang on during the procedure. when we come back, two months down, ten to go. an american astronaut tells us from 150 miles above the earth how he's surviving and spending a year in space. .
emotional return to a south bay hospital. ===take vo=== and you'll be amazed at how good he looks and sounds. ===take vo raj === a typical person uses 90 gallons of water a day. how a east bay couple gets by using 37. ===next close=== next. before we go, when you live and work while traveling at a speed of five miles per second, time certainly must fly by. but will it fly fast enough for astronaut scott kelly, who is more than two months into his year-long stay on board the international space station? his mission is to provide a better understanding of the effects of prolonged space travel. i checked in with him today and began our chat by asking if he's counting down the days until his homecoming back on earth. >> i intentionally did not think about counting down. someone suggested that i count up.
so i've sort of been doing that. >> reporter: no stranger to long space missions, mentally scott kelly knew what to expect. but researchers think he will age more quickly than his twin brother mark, who remains on earth. >> are you concerned about the toll, the physical toll this will take on you? >> i do think about the effects of the microgravity environment on those kinds of things but also the effects of radiation. you know, the reason i'm here is to learn more about it so someday we can travel further from lower earth orbit than we ever have before. >> reporter: kelly is 75 days into a year-long mission. he's been frequently taking to twitter and instagram, posting stunning images of home. the space station passes over earth every 90 minutes. >> the earth is an amazing thing to look at. for me it's somewhat of a challenge to figure out something i want to get a picture of and have the timing all work out and get a really good shot. those pictures are taken from 250 miles away, and it's very entertaining, and i hope people that are looking at them are enjoying them. >> reporter: he's even posted a bunch of
space selfies and keeps a close eye on the headlines including this tweet from saturday. "following american pharoah and victor espinoza from @spacestation. congrats on the triple crown." >> i put out a call on facebook earlier for people to offer up questions that i might ask you. we got some interesting ones. i think i'll skip this one asking if you wash your hair in space. >> yeah, i actually have the perfect hair for space, which is none. because i see my colleagues washing it and it looks quite the challenge. >> reporter: and what does he wish he'd brought along for the trip? >> you wouldn't think this would come from me, but i thought there were watercolors up here. there were here last time. but when i got up here they weren't. so the ground is going to send a small little watercolors set on the next spacex. this is a great environment for looking out the window and painting what you see. >> and we can't wait to see those pictures when he paints them. that's going to do it for us tonight. thank you so much for watching. for all of us at nbc news, i'm lester holt. have a good night.
nbc bay area news starts now. >> right now at 6:00 june gloom and we need it. steady rain across much of the bay area throughout the day. and our radar showing the storm and it's not over. good evening. thanks for being with us. i'm raj mathai. >> and i'm jessica aguirre. our cameras caught the soaking that took place from emeryville to palo alto even mountain view. everybody saw a little bit of the wet stuff today. a live look at san francisco where the clouds are still hanging around. and hooking at inglooking at the radar,
you see lots of green. jeff, we got quite the soaking today. >> what we're tracking is the center of low pressure that helped this spiral in remnant moisture for what was once hurricane blanca. we're gradually going to see the heaviest rainfall die down. so still tracking sof lingering showers. i think we're done with the worst of it at this point. you can see across contra costa, spotty areas of showers, also for fremont. and in the south bay, we had a decent amount of rainfall but now it's only producing a rainfall rate of about 0.002 an inch per hour. with the rain moving in from the east, the east bay had the most